Short memory "enemy of disaster management"

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Margareta Wahlström
UN Photo

An inability to remember and learn lessons from major natural catastrophes is the "enemy of disaster management" according to the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Margareta Wahlström, who made the comment, was due to participate in a ceremony on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake in Japan.

Almost 6,500 people lost their lives when the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake struck the ancient city at just before 6am on the 17th January 1994.

Ms Wahlström said it is important to remember what she called "distant events" because learning from those catastrophes makes the management of future disasters easier.

Earthquakes kill more people than any other natural hazard.

In the 20 years since Kobe, almost half of the two million deaths from major reported disasters have occurred in earthquakes.

Five of the most deadly earthquakes of the last 100 years had occurred in the last ten years.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations

Duration:1’07″

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